Guide: How to Say “Approximately” in a Sentence

Welcome to our guide on how to express the concept of “approximately” in a sentence. Whether you are looking for a formal or informal way to convey approximate figures or values, we have you covered. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various expressions, provide tips, examples, and even touch on regional variations if necessary. So, let’s dive right in!

Formal Expressions

When it comes to formal situations, it is crucial to use appropriate language to present approximate values or figures. Consider the following expressions:

1. Approximately

The most straightforward and universal way to express approximation is by using the word “approximately.” For example:
“The event will start at approximately 8 o’clock.”

2. Roughly

Another formal synonym for “approximately” is “roughly.” It conveys the same meaning and adds variety to your language. For instance:
“The estimated cost of the project is roughly $1 million.”

3. Around

“Around” is a versatile term, suitable for both casual and formal conversations. It implies approximation when mentioning quantities or time. Consider this example:
“The population of the city is around 100,000 people.”

4. Close to

“Close to” is used to indicate a value that is almost but not exactly accurate. It can be employed to express approximation in various contexts. Here’s an example:
“The final exam will take close to two hours to complete.”

5. In the ballpark of

This more idiomatic expression conveys a sense of approximation while emphasizing a rough estimation. It is commonly used in professional settings. Take a look at this example:
“The company’s revenue is in the ballpark of $5 million.”

Informal Expressions

In less formal situations, you can opt for more casual language while still effectively conveying approximation. Here are some expressions you can use:

1. Give or take

This phrase suggests an approximate figure with a degree of flexibility. It is often used in everyday conversations. Let’s see an example:
“The journey will last around three hours, give or take.”

2. About

“About” is a simple and commonly used term to express approximate values in casual speech. Consider the following example:
“I have about thirty minutes before the meeting starts.”

3. More or less

“More or less” is a flexible phrase that conveys a range of values without being too precise. It is suitable for informal situations. Here’s an example:
“The temperature will be around 25 degrees Celsius, more or less.”

Tips for Usage

Now that we have covered some expressions, let’s explore a few helpful tips for effectively using approximate language:

1. Consider the Context

Always gauge the level of formality required based on the situation. Formal contexts may call for a more professional tone, whereas informal situations allow for a more relaxed approach.

2. Verify Your Numbers

Before using any approximation expression, ensure that the figures or values you are referring to are indeed estimates. Being accurate in your estimations helps maintain your credibility in conversations.

3. Use Approximations Appropriately

Avoid overusing approximate expressions. These terms are most beneficial when the exact value is unnecessary or challenging to determine.


To reinforce your understanding, here are a few additional examples showcasing the usage of approximate language:


  • The flight is expected to last approximately seven hours.
  • The seminar attracted roughly 200 attendees.
  • The appointment should take around 45 minutes.


  • We’ll reach their place in about twenty minutes.
  • I spent around $50 on groceries, give or take a few dollars.
  • The team scored more or less six goals during the game.

Remember, using language accurately and appropriately plays a significant role in effective communication. Experiment with different expressions to find the most suitable ones for your conversations.

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